My Son With Down Syndrome Has a Higher Intelligence

We’ve been through a lot of big life things in the last year. They are the kind of hardships we will look back on, look at each other, and ask, “How did we ever get through?”

When you’ve been through a lot of big stuff, you can kind of forget about how hard the little stuff can be at times—the missed naps, the bored child, the burnt dinner. Those mishaps that interrupt what we hope the day will bring.

We had one of those life mishaps this past week on Thanksgiving. My husband went down in the morning with a bad stomach bug. So, I did my typical parenting move—I got kids out of the house. I put number two down for a nap and took one and three to Sea World.

Only, somewhere in between feeding the sea lions and Shamu’s Christmas show, I started to not feel so great myself.

When we got home—it was confirmed. My husband and I were sick at the same time. The worry that keeps moms up at night was happening to us.

After a really painful night, I got enough strength to walk down stairs to fill my water bottle. My toddler, Anderson, greeted me. He came waddling over with his arms stretched out high. I thought he wanted me to pick him up, but instead he just hugged my neck. He patted my shoulders and kissed my head.

I went back up stairs, closing the baby gate behind me; a move that would have normally resulted in a sad, frustrated boy. But this time, it didn’t. He held onto the gate, looked at me as I walked up stairs and gave me what I thought was a reassuring smile.

He knew. He knew I was sick. He knew I couldn’t really be “mummm” that day. He knew I needed comfort. He knew.

I remember a special education teacher reaching out to me when I first found out Anderson had Down syndrome. She told me that her students with Down syndrome often had a “higher intelligence”.

She described it as an intuition, an emotional knowing.

Jillian Benfield
Jillian Benfield
Jillian Benfield is a former TV News Anchor/Reporter, turned military wife and work from home mom. When she was 20 weeks pregnant with her second child, she learned her son had Down syndrome. Now she’s trying to figure out how to juggle a wonderfully sassy toddler and a baby with special needs. She writes at News Anchor To Homemaker.  Jillian’s work has been featured on ABC News, The TODAY Show and Yahoo News. Follow along with her parenting adventures on Facebook!

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